Aunt Laurel and Aunt Rachel

After church on Sunday we decided that we needed to take more pictures of Ella, to celebrate her cuteness. I must admit that you would be hard pressed to convince me that there isn't an appropriate time to take pictures of Ella, in honor of her cuteness, or for most any other reason. Besides, Laurel in her black dress, and Ella in her polka-dot dress-- it was just too good to pass up.

Laurel actually ended up spending the whole weekend at Mom and Archie's with us, and then I drove down with her Sunday and spent the next two nights sleeping at her place. It was a blast. I haven't had such good quality Laurel time in SO SO long!

I love it when Ella holds her hands together. I feel that she looks like one of the Von Trapp children, preparing for a concert. You don't get quite the full effect in this picture... but you get the idea.
Rachel and I also got to spend lots of time together this trip. We (Rachel, Mom, Me, Ella, Mitch) met for breakfast one morning at IHOP-- delish. And then I spent another afternoon with her at her apartment, which was just so nice. There's just never enough visiting time when I visit Texas.
Ella has a foot fetish... only her foot, though. At this moment she is nursing, I am typing with one hand, and she is grasping her foot as close to her face as she possibly can. Her foot is only safe when it is in her mouth. I can understand that. I often feel that way, too.


A day of fussiness.

While in Houston, Ella and I drove down to spend a day in League City to see my brothers and sisters. Mom, lives up in Montgomery now, so it's kind of a big drive, but I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Well, in reality, Ella was pretty relaxed about the whole day, she was a rock star in the car... but when bed time rolled around she decided that she was ready to assert herself more than usual:

Poor Traci got the brunt of it. She just was not a happy baby. She was really just wanting her mom, which was fine with me, but I wanted to get pictures with Ella and other people, so we developed a system where I would calm Ella down, pass her off, take a quick picture, and then give her back in record time. That is, until Josh took his turn:

No need to pass back this time. Ella loves Josh. Bummer for everyone else who had been cried at that night... but I still think it's funny :)

On the upside, I now have drapes and a clean house.

Well, it's time for me to blog the events of a month and a half ago. I'm really ready this time, so don't try to convince me to put it off any longer, it won't do any good :) Late in September I made a pilgramage to the Holy Land (Houston). [It's funny-- I didn't start calling it that until we moved to the Land of Desolation (Idaho).] And it was marvelous... but yet another reminder that "winter" means different things to different people.

We left on September 22, the day Ella turned three months, and after my mom picked me up at the airport we spent most of the day at Grandma Polly's. This is a significant day, because Ella's Aunt Joy got her to laugh for the first time ever. These were no little heh heh's. This was a full on giggle. It has taken me weeks to replicate the magnitude of giggling that Aunt Joy brought on. I am pleased to report, however, that Ella does giggle furiously on a regular basis for both her father and me.

As with ever child I have ever encountered, Ella was thrilled with my mom's scooter. You just wouldn't believe all the tire marks they left around the house from pealing out and taking sharp corners. :) Mom and Archie's house was home base during my two week visit to Houston, and we had a blast. Papa Archie rocked Ella to sleep while he was doing his homework. (Or watching football.) (Or both.) And we all bonded over Dancing with the Stars. And although Archie insists he is too manly to enjoy such a show, I percieved that he was secretly enjoying it. Don't hide who you truly are, Arch, embrace your love for Ballroom Dance Reality Shows.


Ella Giggles

I'm testing this link (with a really cute video of Ella laughing) to see if I want to use this site in the future. I'll spend time writing later.

View this montage created at One True Media
My Montage 10/20/08



Spud Fest 2008

I realize some of you may believe that I have exaggerated the role of potatoes in our Idaho Lifestyle. But now that I have made you aware of the real life Spud Fest that takes place each September in Shelley, Idaho, you can better understand the pervasive effects of those marvelous tubers in our day to day lives.

It all begins with a rousing parade in the true style of Idaho... lots of tractors and pick-ups; two marching bands: the High School and the Junior High... and a team of cloggers from the big city (Idaho Falls) ranging from age 5 to 13. This year it rained. Last year people got sunburned. The year before that, it snowed. But does that stop the patriotic citizens of Idaho from wearing their spuds on their sleeves? No, sir, it does not.

Following the parade there are a variety of Potato-related activities, the most exciting of which was the free baked-potatoes booth. Paul and I got two each. :) We unfortunately left before the Tug-of-War competition began, complete with a massive pile of mashed potatoes for the losers to be tugged in to. There is also a potato picking contest, along with a talent show. And whoever said there's nothing to do in Idaho!? :)

Well, another Spud Day has come and gone. Although our lives have taken on a hollow quality about them, due to lack of potato celebration, we can always cling to the memories we made as we honored that sacred crop.


It's snowing. Right this very minute.

This is Ella. She is having her floor time wrapped up like an eskimo baby, because it is too gosh darn cold for her to be exposed to the harsh elements of our home.

Here is the living proof. I took this picture literally three minutes ago. The sad thing is that in the last three minutes, so much more snow has accumulated that I am seriously considering taking another one. Although that would be breaking Cardinal Rule #2: Avoid snow at all costs. (Ask Paul about Cardinal Rule #1.)

On a more optimistic note, the first snow of the year means that I can officially listen to Christmas music with pride. In fact, my good ol' buddy Bing is serenading me at this very moment.

Well, gang. Sorry about the break in posts. I've been visiting the Chosen Land. (Yes, I did go outdoor swimming just last week. And I can still swim faster than my cousins.) I'm going to just post things in chronological order from now on, and ignore the fact that we are three weeks behind. (But a three week delay on reporting my snow just wouldn't be the same.) Happy Holidays!


This is dedicated to the baby sleeping on the floor.

Well, the morning was progressing as usual. Ella got up and grinned at us for a while as we cooed at her and loved on her. She is truly a morning person. Paul left for work, and Ella and I got busy feeding her breakfast. She is not as passionate about breakfast as I am... she is her father's daughter in that way, I guess. She eats a little and then talks with me for a little, and then eats a little more. This continues for a while until she stops eating and gets bored of chatting with her mom. So that's when floor time begins. I put her on her tummy, and went into the other room to put on some good brain music. Queen. I like to expose her to the Classics. (Side note: We were driving and she was fussing the other day when "Hotel California" by the Eagles came on the radio. She calmed right down, I kid you not.)

Well, when I left Ella this is what she looked like:

And when I came back into the room, this is what I found:

My daughter had the nerve to roll over for the first time without letting me watch! Well, you can imagine my shock and surprise. (I think she may have been confused as to why I was yelling in delight.) So, I put her back on her belly in hopes of a repeat performance. No luck, yet. However, I can tell you right now that she will be spending the bulk of her day on her tummy.
I did let her take a break so she could nap this morning. Unfortunately, her morning nap is usually on the guest bed upstairs so I can hear her. Now the fear of moving in her sleep has been realized, she has been relegated to the floor.

The crib is just too far away when I'm upstairs getting things done. But I'm probably going to have to give in soon enough. The child can't nap on the floor forever. :) Well, gang, that's the news here. Wish me luck in my child-watch. I'll catch her in the act even if I have to give up cleaning to do so. (It's a big sacrifice, but one I'm willing to make... for the sake of motherhood.)


I only need to post one picture today.

And here it is:

The picture of domesticity.

Saturday I canned a bushel of peaches. Sunday I made a yummy soup with zucchini and tomatoes out of the garden. The salad was almost entirely garden grown as well (but it was from Lindsay's garden, so it doesn't count as much). Then on Monday I got up and made whole wheat bread from wheat that I ground myself (in an electric grinder... so also a little bit of a cheat. Next time I'm using a mortar and pestle, for sure.) :) And this morning I woke up and had some of my homemade whole wheat bread with my canned applesauce from last year. How self-sufficient am I? I'm thinking about getting a dairy goat for the backyard, and then we can stop going to the store altogether. So, we're pretty much set if disaster strikes. After all, in my basement I have a year's supply of cereal and kleenex. What more do you really need?


I like that I don't have to feel guilty for obsessing about my daughter when I blog here.

On facebook I feel that I should retain a semblance of individuality, instead of the reality, which is that my existence has merged with that of Ella. Lucky for us, we are family here, so we can all be obsessed about Ella without embarrassment. We'll call ourselves Ellaholics Anonymous. My name is Jess and I'm an Ellaholic. Thank you for sharing, Jess.

Life has been so stinkin' good lately. We are starting to get on a schedule, and I actually got up this morning and went to the gym. (Ella didn't wake up until 5am to eat, and then I figured, well, I'm up, I'll just go. So she and Paul snuggled while I sweated.) I came home and went back to sleep. I wasn't actually that sleepy, but it is rare that her naps are convenient enough for me to get one in as well.

We went to Provo last weekend and pretty much just spent the whole time hanging at Grandma's and playing the Wii (which Paul naturally brought along.) It was great. Is there really anything better than laziness with those you love? I think not. We took some cute pictures of Ella, too. (Nothing like a good hobby to get you up and going.)


"Our State Fair is a great State Fair"

Well this week is the Eastern Idaho State Fair down in Blackfoot, ID. (Incidentally, also home of the Potato Museum. It's a hot spot for tourists, as I'm sure you can imagine.) This is all I have to say: Why did I not spend my year getting ready for this glorious event!? Next year I am entering everything I can into the State Fair. Cookies, quilts, photos, sheep, flowers... I think I could have placed in the sunflower competition, mine are beautiful, now that they have finally bloomed :)

So we did more Ella-bundling. Because it is still cold. (Hurumph.) And we toured the fair! Paul was our photographer, mainly, and in the grand tradition of Paul, took lots of pictures of food. The baked goods competition was really fun, and we dared each other to eat some of the goodies on display, but neither of us could get up the nerve. He also got lots of pictures of livestock. Now, I know that he says he doesn't want to have a farm. But I'm pretty sure that in his heart of hearts, I believe he too dreams of a homestead where we can frolic with our lambs in the spring, and eat our own chickens. (I don't think I could eat any other farm animal that I actually owned. Chickens are vicious. I could eat one that I knew, no problem.)

We used the wrap to cart Ella around, which was nice because she fell asleep just before the Poison concert began. I am not thinking she will be much of a fan of Poison. But, one never knows. Ella was awake long enough to witness the gargantuan pumpkin competition. I'm glad she didn't have to miss that one.

All in all, we had a grand old time. I never would have imagined the State Fair to be such an entertaining event. Put it on your calenders for next year, folks!


I feel lonely without my faithful sidekick.

It's true folks! She's taking a nap without me. I can ride out phases that only last a few days :) Well, gang, it's been a good Friday all in all. I went and got a biopsy on my thyroid nodule... well I was supposed to get biopsied, but one of the nodules has calcified, and he couldn't get the needle through the calcium layer. There are multiple nodules, but he chose the calcified one to poke. I personally would have aimed for another lump, and he did express uncertainty about whether the needle would pierce that particular nodule. But, in the infinite wisdom of a doctor, he just poked the hard one to no avail. So I now have a bruised neck and nothing to show for it. Well, they did get lots of good ultrasound pictures to compare to my last ultrasound, so that's good. If you want my guess, my doctor will probably be ordering another biopsy. Whatever works.
We got Ella all bundled up on Tuesday and went to a Chuckars baseball game. Does anyone actually know what a Chuckar is? Anyhow, bundled up being the key word, because it was downright frigid. I've been timing it, and summer has lasted a grand total of two months and one week, if we start counting from the last snow up to last Tuesday where temperatures at night dropped into the 30's at night. There is only one word for a summer this short: Immoral. We have got to get ourselves out of Outer Darkness and into Celestial Paradise. Texas here we come.
Well, if you have been looking for a show where the protagonist is a singing villain who falls in love at a laundromat, have I got news for you! Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along blog is here!( This is the flat-out funniest thing I have seen in months.

Happy Weekend!

Last Sunday's Nap


There is so much in life I still do not know.

I was informed by Archie this morning that now that I have a blog, I need to be updating it every other day. I had no idea of the time committment involved in this new venture! Here I am, only four days in to the wonderful world of blogging and I am already one post behind!

Lucky for me, I have a daughter who has decided she does not want to nap alone during the day anymore. So I have to find things to do in a sitting or standing position, so that she will be completely comfortable during her nap. I am hoping this is just a phase, because only a few days ago, she would take one or two naps on her own, and just one nap in the wrap with me. She has also decided that she needs to eat twice each night again, instead of the one 4 am feeding that we had all grown to love. The problem with that is that now, when she wakes up for the first time, I have only been asleep for two hours, and I am completely disoriented. Last night Paul had to get out of bed and get her for me, because I just did not know what was going on. I was just laying in bed, wondering why a baby was crying; so confused! It was only once he fetched our sweet child that I realized what was happening and sat up to feed her. Even more amusing was when she awoke for the second time last night, I did not even remember falling back asleep, I just woke up wondering why there was a baby in my bed. Needless to say I need a nap. But Ella has flatly refused to fall asleep unless she is wrapped up with her mom. So after trying for two hours this morning to get her down, I relented, and put her in the wrap. She is sleeping quite soundly now. I only wish the same could be true for me.

I am including this picture of Ella not only as proof that she did at one time sleep on her own, but further reinforcement of how dang tall she is. I am glad that we didn't buy a bassinette, because I think that she would have been too tall for it at birth. I checked out some of the growth charts on the internet, Ella is the size of an average 4-5 month old baby. What a champ.

Paul is home from Melaleuca's annual convention, and despite working fourteen hour days while he was there, had a really good time. Next year the convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, and we are thinking that maybe I should come along with him, and do my mothering on the beach.

I love the beach... but I hate sea water. I have this uncanny fear of sharks. The last time I was in Florida (with roommates on a roadtrip) I was lounging in the ocean and caught a glimpse of my float underneath the water, but instead of my brain processing the visual at a reasonable rate, my initial conclusion was that I was seeing a shark, ready to attack. It wasn't until I was halfway back to shore that I realized that sharks aren't pink and orange. The very sad thing is that all four of us were out in the water together at that very moment. Did I stop to think of my roommates? No. I left them in the dust to fend for themselves against the foul creature. May the best swimmer win.


I'm trying not to be embarrassed about blogging.

At the request of my doting mother, I have started a blog. If you want the awful truth, I set this blog up months ago... way before we had anything going on that would be of interest to anyone (i.e. Ella). So I just changed the title and voila. I hadn't even posted anything yet. (It just goes to show how dedicated I was to blogging.) The upshot of this whole thing is that I now have another way to devote my entire existence to my child.

Ella is sleeping right now, and I have considered taking another picture of her to commemorate this event (the blog, not the nap). But unfortunately, it would simply resemble all the other photos I have of her. She's still naked.

We did, however, get dressed today to go to the doctor's office. She weighed in at 13 lbs., 15.5 oz. (Off the chart for her age.) And measured 24 and 3/4 in. (Also off the chart for her age.) The doctor's comment was, "Well, it looks like her weight caught up to her height." He is very insightful. So she is a healthy growing baby. She received her first round of vaccinations today, as well. We both cried for a while. It was pretty rough.

In other news, my Papa John's pizza has just arrived. (Paul is out of town, so he has encouraged me to spend money on myself... in hopes, I think, to buy my love when he is not here to give it.) I ordered the whole wheat crust and my advice for you all is: don't. If you're going to have pizza, it is ridiculous to try to make it healthy. It was a temporary lapse of judgement and I apologize. Well my little darling is crying for her mother. Much love and whole-hearted devotion to you all.

PS This is a picture of Ella sleeping in her new wrap. She continues to love being cuddled by anyone who is willing.